Ski Apache

Ski Apache is the lone ski resort in south central New Mexico. It is located less than twenty miles from the city of Ruidoso and remains the closest major ski resort to Texas. Many of the skiers and boarders from western Texas make heading to the Ski Apache Resort a yearly tradition. Winter sports enthusiasts stuck in the Lone Star State in cities like Dallas and El Paso find a welcome winter haven here. Although Ski Apache Ruidoso is located quite a bit farther south than the rest of the ski areas in the state, its very high elevation equals a nice amount of annual snowfall that makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience on the mountain.

Ski Apache is located along the Sierra Blanca Peak, which rises over 12,000 feet above sea level. From this unbelievable vantage point, you will enjoy a range of awe-inspiring sights, including the surrounding mountains, desert lands, and the White Sands National Monument. This is truly one of the ski destinations where you will be able to enjoy nature in all of its undisturbed and inspiring glory. The Mescalero Apache Tribe owns the Ski Apache Resort and close attention is paid to keeping the relationship between the resort and the environment harmonious. The scenery, skiing, and snowboarding are so good here that people take vacations here from all around, including from Albuquerque just three hours away and El Paso, which is only two and a half hours away.

The Ski Apache Ruidoso mountain stats are impressive. The top elevation is an impressive 11,500 feet with a vertical rise of nearly 2,000 feet. You might not guess it, but the average snowfall in this south central part of New Mexico is around 180 inches. There are 10 lifts for the 55 trails that are spread out over a gorgeous expanse of 750 acres. Although there are more than enough runs set aside for both beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, the largest percentage is designated for the advanced riders. Black diamond runs make up 40 percent of all the ski runs at the Ski Apache Resort, while 35 percent are for intermediates, and the remaining 20 percent are for beginners. The ski season generally runs from the end of November through the beginning of April.

There is no lodging slope-side or on the mountain at Ski Apache, but there are many accommodations between twelve and eighteen miles away. Skiers and snowboarders will appreciate the fact that they will get lower rates at area accommodations that people who make reservations in the summer for other activities like hiking, fishing, and mountain biking in the lovely Sierra Blanca hills. There is everything from cheap motels and inns to nice hotels and bed and breakfasts in and around the Ruidoso area. There are seven places onsite, however, where you will be able to enjoy a meal, snack, or a drink at Ski Apache Ruidoso. You will also find a selection of restaurants and markets in Ruidoso. Many people make cheap ski vacations happen by going in on a moderately priced hotel as a group and then buying food at the grocery store. There are also Ski Apache packages available that can help you realize significant savings on your next trip to ski New Mexico.

Image: Schlüsselbein2007 (flickr)

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